Murali may call it quits before 2011 World Cup

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Sri Lanka's spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan, who plays his last Test series against West Indies next year, may also hang his ODI boots before the 2011 WC.

Updated: November 29, 2009 08:43 IST
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New Delhi:

Sri Lanka's spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan, who plays his last Test series against West Indies next year, may also hang his ODI boots before the 2011 World Cup.

In an interview with a leading cricket site, Murali said his growing age was hampering him to remain in pace with the demands of the game.

"I am 37 years old and I can't bowl as much as those days because I get tired after 15-16 overs. But I will try and play a little bit of one-day cricket - that's only 10 overs to bowl. If I find everything is not going well I might retire from both forms of the game before the World Cup," Murali said.

He said everything depended on how his body coped with the challenges of the game. However, he backed his decision to quit Tests after West Indies series.

"In Test cricket it's a little bit harder because I have always been a threat to other sides, but at the moment it's not looking like that because others are playing me well. I think I made the right decision to retire from Test cricket at the end of the West Indies series next year," he added.

Earlier this year, Murali had said he would bid adieu to cricket after the 2011 World Cup which will be played in the Indian sub-continent. It seems, however, that increasing demands of the game and his age have forced him to think otherwise.

"Two to three years ago it was not like this. Now you have niggles here and there and my groin is not the same as it used to be. We got the worst bowling conditions in the last two Tests. We didn't have the bowlers, that was one of the factors. But that's the way cricket goes, everything won't work in your favour," Murali said.

"There was a time the team was dependent on me for wickets but it has to change. Others must also get a chance Rangana (Herath) is bowling well and (Ajantha) Mendis. They will have to carry through in the years to come.

"Whatever I did in the last 18 years is not possible for anybody to achieve because I ran through sides alone getting five-for in an innings 66 times and 22 ten-wicket match hauls. One single spinner cannot achieve that but as a collective unit of bowlers they can take wickets against oppositions. We have fast bowlers and spinners and they are good enough to do that."

Muralitharan, who is on his fourth and last tour of India, has been struggling to come to terms with the placid Indian pitches and the hosts' strong batting line-up which has treated him harshly in the series so far. He too admited that he couldn't figure out the reason for the poor show. He, however, added that he wouldn't be too disappointed if his side failed to register their first Test win in Mumbai.

"I've played only seven Test matches this year, two against Bangladesh, two against Pakistan where it was a dead rubber series and two against New Zealand when I really did well bowling in the second innings of the second Test with a groin injury. Whenever the side wanted a breakthrough I've got it for them in the New Zealand series. I don't why it's not happening here," he said.

"Every cricketer has to go through disappointments. Everything you want to happen in life won't happen; something will be missing. Looking back I can say what an amazing career I have gone through but if we can't win in India that's it. Life has to go on," he added.

The world's highest Test wicket taker's bowling figures after the two Tests so far are ordinary to say the least - five wickets for 396 runs - at an average 79.20.

(With PTI inputs)

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